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2017 Mazda Mazda3 Review

The 2017 Mazda3 has corner-carving agility, quality cabin materials, and an intuitive infotainment system. However, the compact car class is very competitive, and the Mazda3’s small trunk and below-average predicted reliability rating contribute to its mid-pack ranking.

Pros & Cons

  • Superb handling
  • Outstanding fuel economy
  • Quality interior
  • Easy-to-use infotainment system
  • Limited space in the back seats
  • Sedan has less trunk space than rivals
  • Below-average predicted reliability rating

New for 2017

  • New trim names
  • Retuned suspension
  • Traffic sign recognition now available

Rankings & Awards

The 2017 Mazda Mazda3's #9 ranking is based on its score within the 2017 Compact Cars category. It was a finalist for our 2017 Best Compact Car for the Money award. Currently the Mazda Mazda3 has a score of 8.2 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 37 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 9.4
Performance: 9.0
Interior: 8.0
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.9
Safety: 9.8
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2017 Mazda Mazda3 Overview

Is the 2017 Mazda3 a Good Used Car?

The 2017 Mazda3 is a good car for those who want excellent cornering ability and crisp steering. It’s available as a sedan or hatchback, and it has two zippy engines that return great gas mileage. The Mazda3’s elegant cabin has an intuitive touch-screen infotainment system. However, rear-seat and trunk space are on the small side for the class.

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Why You Can Trust Us

Our used car rankings and reviews are based on our analysis of professional automotive reviews, as well as data like crash test scores, reliability ratings, and ownership expenses. We researched 37 Mazda3 reviews to help you decide if it’s the right used car for you.

The U.S. News Best Cars team has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has a combined 75 years of automotive industry experience. To ensure our impartiality, our staff never takes expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site.

How Much Is the 2017 Mazda3?

Our site has more than 900 listings for the 2017 Mazda3, with prices ranging from $14,500 to $22,700. The average price is $17,400. Your final price depends on the condition, mileage, location, and features of the model you choose.

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How Much Does the 2017 Mazda3 Cost to Own?

The 2017 Mazda3’s five-year estimated costs for gas, insurance, maintenance, and repairs are about $22,500. Those costs are higher than estimates for rivals like the Honda Civic ($21,200) and Hyundai Elantra ($21,100).

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Mazda3?

The price of a 2018 Mazda3 starts at $18,095 and climbs to $24,975 for the highest trim. Comparing base models, the 2017 model will save you several thousand dollars. However, Smart City Brake Support became standard for 2018. If you could do without this addition, save yourself the money and buy the 2017.

Read about the new Mazda3 »

There are several 2018 compact cars you can purchase for less than the average list price of the 2017 Mazda3. The highly ranked 2018 Kia Soul hatchback starts at $16,200. It offers a lot more passenger and cargo room, along with a great predicted reliability rating. The 2018 Chevrolet Cruze ($16,975) is another great option. It’s available as a sedan or hatchback, and it offers an impressive standard features list, including a user-friendly infotainment system. It also gets great gas mileage and has plenty of room for passengers and cargo.

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Which Model Year of the Mazda3 Is Best?

The 2017 Mazda3 is part of a generation that began during the 2014 model year. You can save money with a 2014 or 2015, but you’ll miss out on the improvements introduced for 2016. The 2016 Mazda3 gained a number of standard features, including cruise control, a rearview camera, and a touch-screen infotainment system. The 2017 model received new trim names, available traffic sign recognition, and a retuned suspension for a smoother ride. Skip pre-2016 models in favor of 2016 and 2017 models. If the suspension upgrades interest you, buy the 2017. Otherwise, the 2016 is a great choice.

Compare the 2015, 2016, and 2017 Mazda3 »

How Reliable Is the 2017 Mazda3?

The 2017 Mazda3 has a below-average predicted reliability rating of 2.5 from J.D. Power.  

Read more about Mazda3 reliability »

2017 Mazda3 Recalls

As of this writing, the 2017 Mazda3 has no reported recalls.  

See more information on Mazda3 safety recalls »

Which Used Mazda3 Model Is Right for Me?

The 2017 Mazda3 is available as a four-door sedan and a five-door hatchback. Four trims are available: Sport, Touring, Touring 2.5 (hatchback only), and Grand Touring. The base Mazda3 Sport comes well-equipped with features like a rearview camera, push-button start, two USB ports, Bluetooth phone connectivity, and an infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen.

The Mazda3 hatchback in the Touring 2.5 trim provides the best combination of features, cargo space, and power. It comes with the stronger engine, heated front seats, leatherette upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, pre-collision braking, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert. If you need the space, go with the Touring 2.5 hatchback. Otherwise, the Sport trim will suit you just fine.

See 2017 Mazda3 trims and specs »

What Does Mazda's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Mazda offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles six years old or less and with fewer than 80,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. For each certified pre-owned vehicle, Mazda extends the original limited powertrain warranty to seven years from the original sale date or 100,000 miles and provides a one-year/12,000-mile limited warranty after the expiration of the original three-year/36,000-mile warranty. Every CPO Mazda must pass a 160-point inspection. Additional benefits may include towing, a 90-day complimentary SiriusXM satellite radio trial subscription, extended coverage, and roadside assistance, so read the Mazda warranty page carefully.

Mazda’s CPO program is about average for an affordable auto manufacturer, according to our research. Chevy, Hyundai, and Kia all have better programs.

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How Safe Is the Mazda3?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the 2017 Mazda3 a Top Safety Pick+, the organization's highest award. The Mazda3 also received a top rating in every IIHS crash test. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2017 Mazda3 a perfect five-star rating for overall safety. It earned the same score in the side and frontal crash tests. The Mazda3 received four out of five stars in the rollover crash test.  

A rearview camera comes standard. Available driver assistance features include a head-up display, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, rear parking sensors, lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision warning, adaptive headlights, and traffic sign recognition. Mazda’s Smart City Brake Support system is also available, which can automatically apply the brakes at low speeds if you are about to hit an object or person.

See Mazda3 safety scores »

2017 Mazda3 Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2017 Mazda3 or 2017 Kia Forte?

Unless sporty handling is your top priority, the Kia Forte is the car to choose. It covers a few of the Mazda3’s flaws. The Forte has a higher predicted reliability rating and more cargo space in both sedan and hatchback models. Additionally, the Forte has a high-quality cabin with a user-friendly infotainment system and a good number of standard features. Finally, the Forte has peppy engines and slightly better fuel economy than the Mazda3. 

Which Is Better: 2017 Mazda3 or 2017 Volkswagen Golf?

The Mazda3 and Volkswagen Golf are both good vehicles. The Golf has a stronger base engine of the two, but the Mazda3 gets better fuel economy. Both cars have upscale cabins with comfortable seats. However, the VW Golf’s vast cargo hold makes it the more practical option. Behind its rear seats, the Golf offers 10.4 more cubic feet of cargo space than the Mazda3 sedan. The Golf has 52.7 cubic feet with those rear seats folded, which is 5.6 cubic feet more than the Mazda3 hatchback’s cargo capacity. Both are fun-to-drive cars with upscale interiors, but the Volkswagen Golf can carry a whole lot more than the Mazda3.

Compare the Mazda3, Forte, and Golf »

2017 Mazda3 Performance

How Does the 2017 Mazda3 Drive?

With dynamic handling, strong brakes, and a smooth ride, the front-wheel-drive Mazda3 is one of the best driving vehicles in the compact car class. It comes standard with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 155 horsepower. This is a fairly powerful base engine for the class, and the Mazda3 feels zippier than its competitors. However, the engine can get pretty noisy at highway speeds. A 184-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine is available, providing quicker highway acceleration. A six-speed manual transmission is standard; a six-speed automatic is available.

Does the 2017 Mazda3 Get Good Gas Mileage?

The Mazda3 has great fuel economy for the class. With the base engine and automatic transmission, it returns 28 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway. With the larger engine, fuel economy drops by 1 mpg in city driving. 

Read more about Mazda3 performance »

2017 Mazda3 Interior

How Many People Does the 2017 Mazda3 Seat?

The 2017 Mazda3 seats five on cloth upholstery. With quality materials and elegant styling, the Mazda3 has one of the most upscale cabins in the class. Its front seats are comfortable and supportive, but there’s less back-seat room than most rivals offer. 

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2017 Mazda3?

The Mazda3's LATCH system includes a complete set of child seat connectors in both rear outboard seats, and a tether anchor in the middle rear seat. This LATCH system received the second-highest rating of Acceptable for its ease of use from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

2017 Mazda3 Features

Standard features include push-button start, two USB ports, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a six-speaker sound system, HD Radio, and the Mazda Connect infotainment system. The Mazda3 can be equipped with navigation, a moonroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, a nine-speaker Bose sound system, and satellite radio.

The MazdaConnect infotainment system has straightforward menus and responds quickly to inputs. There are also secondary physical controls for climate and navigation, so you can keep your eyes on the road while adjusting some settings.

See 2017 Mazda3 specs »

Read more about Mazda3 interior »

2017 Mazda3 Dimensions

Mazda3 Cargo Space

The Mazda3 sedan has below-average trunk space for the class (12.4 cubic feet). However, the hatchback model has 47.1 cubic feet of overall cargo space, which is on par with other hatchbacks in the class.  

2017 Mazda3 Length and Weight

The 2017 Mazda3 sedan is about 15 feet long. The hatchback measures 14.6 feet from front to back. Curb weights range from 2,875 pounds to 3,100 pounds.

Where Was the 2017 Mazda3 Built?

Mazda built the 2017 Mazda3 in Mexico.   


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